Bradshaw Foundation - Latest News

BRADSHAW FOUNDATION - LATEST NEWS

 

Apeman to Spaceman

13 Oct 2014
Bradshaw Foundation
Article

Highly recommended viewing: 
BBC's HUMAN UNIVERSE
'Apeman - Spaceman'
Episode 1 of 5

International Space Station over Earth

BBC: Beginning in Ethiopia, Professor Brian Cox discovers how the universe played a key role in our ascent from apeman to spaceman by driving the expansion of our brains. But big brains alone did not get us to space. To reveal what did, Brian heads out of Africa to the ancient city of Petra in Jordan, where he unpicks the next part of our story - the birth of civilization - and then on to Kazakhstan, where he witnesses the return of astronauts from space and explains what took us from civilization to the stars.

This is a powerful production. Brian Cox is very good at bringing science to life and making it sting. Yes, there are epic statements such as 'How did we become who we are?' and 'What drove our ascent from ape to man?' with a rousing film score and spectacular footage such as Africa's Rift Valley zooming out to the International Space Station, but it works.

Cox begins the story in Ethiopia. Here are the obsidian tools, which not only had a pretty effective function, but also a highly symbolic significance; the tools required an intelligence,  a planning, an imagination of something, like a spear, that wasn't naturally there but had to be made.

This, he argues, came about through collective thought, not merely the thought of an individual. This meant there was communication, and therefore language. And here, about 250 thousand years ago, 'a tiny part of the Cosmos had become conscious'.

It appears that this consciousness may have been stimulated naturally; the Earth's orbit experiences predictable elliptical variations, which in turn cause extreme climatic variations, which in turn cause rapidly changing environments. From the growing brain size of Australopithecus, to Homo erectus, to Homo heidelbergensis and to Omo 2 , the theory goes that rapid and violent climate change, caused by changes in the Earth's orbit,  seems to have coincided with advances in human intelligence.

This 'intelligence' saw modern humans evolve from hunter-gatherers to farmers. In the Fertile Crescent, with the emergence of agriculture, one of the most salient consequences was the beginning of 'civilizations'. This meant the division of labour, which among other things encouraged 'thought', and thought encouraged innovation. One thing truly innovative was writing, and writing was important because the spread of ideas - and knowledge - was no longer restricted to memory and spoken word; it represented 'an exponentiation of the known'.

All strong stuff. And there will be many questions raised and debates held about intelligence and human ingenuity, progress and disaster, but that is exactly the purpose of such productions.

The Bradshaw Foundation's ORIGINS section:

http://www.bradshawfoundation.com/origins/index.php


BBC Human Universe:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p0276p50


Human Universe Interactive timeline:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/timelines/z9hwjxs

 

 

 

 

COMMENTS

 
JOIN US ON FACEBOOK
LATEST NEWS ARTICLES
 
LATEST ROCK ART
20 Feb 2015
LATEST CAVE PAINTINGS
31 Mar 2015
LATEST PALEOANTHROPOLOGY
LATEST ARCHAEOLOGY
LATEST ANTHROPOLOGY
27 Mar 2015
LATEST WORLD HERITAGE
Bradshaw FoundationAboutiShopBook ReviewSite MapMailing ListDonateFacebookTwitterContact
If you have enjoyed visiting this section of the website please consider adding a link
Bradshaw Foundation © MMXI
Homepage About the Foundation Contact Us Facebook News Articles Twitter List of Research Papers Professor Stephen Oppenheimer Travel Index About the Expeditions Forthcoming Expeditions Bespoke Expeditions Enquire Practical Information History of Exploration Welcome to the iShop Film Downloads DVD's Sculpture Prints Clothing Messenger Bag eBooks INORA Downloads About iLecture Films Shipping & Handling iLectures In Conversation Video Stories Travel Films Read the reviews Join the free Mailing List Bradshaw Foundation Facebook Friends of the Foundation Archive Index World's Oldest Rock Art Africa Documentary Films South Africa RARI Giraffe Carvings Niger Namibia Western Central Africa Africa Paintings Gallery Tanzania The Tuareg People Tuareg Salt Caravans Gilf Kebir Archive Index San Rock Art Paintings San Bushman San Rock Art Film Origins Centre Johannesburg Archive Index Arizona Baja California Coso Range Nevada Oregon Territory Australia Archive Index Introduction Bradshaw Paintings Kimberley Region The Unambal Hugh Brown Leif Thiele Gallery Dan Clark Grahame Walsh Ian Wilson Bradshaws / Gwion Gwion Archive Index Introduction Origins of the British Stonehenge Sounds of Stonehenge The British Museum British Isles Megaliths Gower Peninsula Rock Art Mendip Hills Prehistory Northumberland Rock Art Red Lady of Paviland Stone Age Mammoth Abattoir Archive Index Yinchuan Museum Rock Art Festival Field Trip Gallery Itinerant Creeds Inner Mongolia & Ningxia Vanishing Civilization Life in Rock Art (PDF) Tibet Tibet Photographs Dazu Rock Carvings Tiger Motif Archive Index Chauvet Cave Lascaux Cave Niaux Cave Cosquer Cave Portable Art Research Paper Tuc d'Audoubert Bison Dr. Jean Clottes Index UNESCO World Heritage Introduction Cave Paintings Gallery Visiting the Chauvet Cave Return to Chauvet Cave Investigating the Cave Venus & Sorcerer Werner Herzog Film Chauvet Publications India Archive Index Rock Art Central India Pachmarhi Hills India Rock Art Gallery Middle East Archive Index Middle East Inroduction Rock Art of Iran Rock Art of Saudi Arabia United Arab Emirates Rock Art Ancient Geometry Middle East Colonisation Tanum Rock Art Museum Thor Heyerdahl Archive Index Introduction America's Oldest Art? Pedra Furada Bolivian Rock Art Campeche Island - Brazil Checta Petroglyphs - Peru Cueva de las Manos Santa Catarina Island - Brazil Rock Art in Britain Campeche Rock Art Petroglyphs El Salvador - Corinto Cave Hand Rock Art Paintings Tibetan Rock Art United Arab Emirates Uzbekistan Yinchuan Rock Art Museum Introduction Ice Age Art Gallery Claire Artemyz Jill Cook Interview Cycladic Introduction Cycladic Gallery Introduction Geometric Signs Chart Research Methodology Geometric Signs in France Sign Types/Countries/Regions Bibliography Ancient Symbols in Rock Art Newsletter Archive Download Issues Introduction Genetic Map Professor Stephen Oppenheimer Further Reading Origins of the British BBC Documentary Origins Index Origins Overview 13 Big Questions Stanley Ambrose Homo Floresiensis Herto Skulls Homo Dmanisi Liujiang Skull Introduction Sentinels in Stone Easter Island Rock Art Birdman Cult / Motif Sea & Marine Creatures Design & Motifs Dr Georgia Lee Easter Island Map Contemporary Art Glossary Conclusion Thor Heyerdahl Introduction When & Who Built It? How Was It Built? The Area Sounds of Stonehenge Meaning of a Pyramid Pyramid Studies Pyramid Superstructure Pyramid Substructure Pyramid Preparations Pyramid Building Saqqara Nabil Swelim Temples of Malta and Gozo Research in the Caucasus The Keselo Foundation Homo Dmanisi Ancient Toolmakers Index Introduction Descent into the Cave The Decorated Caves Shamanistic Experience Spring Initiation Rites Summary Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Professor John P. Miller Motif: Eternal Index Han Meilin Bruce Radke Christian Tuki Gordon Ellis-Brown Site Map Search the Website Glossary of Terms & Definition Podcast on iTunes Other Websites Contact the Foundation